IMMEDIATE past President, Ijaw
Youth Council, IYC, Worldwide,
Comrade Udengs Eradiri, said
some external forces are behind the
activities of a militant group, Niger
Delta Avengers.
Eradiri, who made the revelation
in an interview in Yenagoa,
yesterday, said even the federal
government is aware of the whole
scheme.
He faulted the government’s
handling of the agitations of the
militant group, saying agitations in
the region arose from long years of
underdevelopment, neglect, lack
of equity, insincerity, among other
challenges.
Eradiri said though he does
not believe in violent agitation,
but he supports the agitation by
the Avengers, rationalising that
agitation is the only language that
government understands.
He said to solve the agitations
in the region, government has
to show more commitment and
seriousness in addressing the
causes of agitations.
‘’The government is not serious.
All they want to do is blackmail
some persons politically and dent
people’s images. I am from this
area and I know how it works. All I
want is for everything to be better.
‘’I believe and I know that
these Avengers’ stuff and threats
are external. They are fuelled by
external forces; people who just
want to disrupt things are behind
it. Their thinking is that money
will come out through negotiation.
Even the government knows about
it. It is all about destabilising
things and stealing money from
the system.
‘’My advice to the youth is that
they should continue to agitate.
Yes, the only language that they
understand is constant agitation.
If they do not agitate, the Amnesty
budget, you remember I was
shouting, it was N20 billion down
from N56 billion.
‘’When the youths started
agitation, it was moved to N35
billion and now it is over N50
billion, Amnesty operators now
have money to pay school fees and
all of that. They were also shouting
about the Niger Delta Ministry’s
budget, now the government has
increased it. When agitation started,
we shouted about the Maritime
University, they said it was going
to kick off, now I am hearing that
President Muhammadu Buhari has
approved N5 billion in the new
budget. So, if there is no agitation,
will they do all these? So, let the
youth agitate. Government, wake
up to your responsibility.’’
Speaking on the Pan Niger Delta
Elders Forum, PANDEF, the former
IYC boss said it has lost focus and
outlived its usefulness, insisting
that the federal government
does not need the organisation to
address the Niger Delta question.
He said PANDEF led by
foremost Ijaw Leader, Chief Edwin
Clark, had set the pace and part
of the action that the government
is working on, but the group has
become an embarrassment to the
people of the region.
‘’We have lost confidence in
PANDEF. We no longer believe
in them. I was part of those
that brought up the idea when
government said they do not know
who to talk to in the region.
‘’We agreed to come together
as one, hence we established
PANDEF. But unfortunately, it
has now lost focus. They are now
talking about constitution and
leadership. They have women’s
wing, youths’ wing etc.
‘’At every point that we strive
to make progress, we are the same
persons to scatter it. Everyone is
seeking audience. Let those elders
go and rest, particularly Clark. We
have no elders to report to; they
want to be the rulers, owning the
power. They seek to overthrow the
IYC and all others. They want to be
the leaders because of the selfish
gains they want to derive. PANDEF
has lost its usefulness. The group is
becoming an embarrassment and a
disgrace to the Niger Delta. ‘’

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